Freshmen shine in K-State women’s rout of Abilene Christian

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The Kansas State women's basketball defeated UT Martin 44-30 on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. (Archive photo by Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

Coming off its first loss of the year, the Kansas State women’s basketball team took out any frustrations on an overmatched Abilene Christian squad in a 93-53 win in Manhattan Tuesday night.

The K-State Wildcats had the other Wildcats on the ropes right out of the gates, building a 19-3 lead behind 11 points from true freshman guard Serena Sundell. She would pace all scorers with a career-high 25 points.

“I didn’t really expect the start,” K-State head coach Jeff Mittie said to K-State Sports. “We were a little flat in warm-ups, so I was concerned about that and the staff was concerned about that. So, I did not expect the start, but I do think our group addressed it and knew we needed to raise their enthusiasm and their effort. They obviously went out and played well. I thought they had a good read defensively. I thought they really understood what Abilene Christian was trying to run.”

Sundell also contributed a pair of assists and five rebounds to the effort and shot a blistering 5-7 from three-point range.

“I just wanted to be more shot-ready,” Sundell said to K-State Sports. “That was kind of my mindset, being ready to shoot it and shooting it confidently. I think there was a little bit in my head going on, but I found it again and I give credit to my teammates for just making the right read. Obviously, people are helping a lot inside so we have open three-pointers so I just have to be ready to catch and shoot.”

K-State wound up outscoring ACU 31-5 in the first quarter thanks to 5-10 three-point shooting and 62 percent shooting overall. ACU only got 13 shots up and was limited to 15 percent from the floor.

The Wildcats couldn’t quite keep up the intensity in the second quarter but still rolled into halftime up 47-16.

“We were challenging them to win every five minutes,” Mittie said to K-State Sports. “We did not play well in the second quarter … I thought we lost some intensity in that stretch, missed some easy shots and just seemed to flatten out. Those are growing things for a team as well — that you’ve got to keep the foot on the pedal.”

The Wildcats kept the foot on that gas pedal, outscoring ACU 23-15 in the third before coasting to a near draw in the fourth quarter to secure a 40-point win.

Ayoka Lee contributed another double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds despite dealing yet again with foul trouble concerns.

Freshman Jaelyn Glenn scored 13 and led K-State with eight assists and five steals in just over 30 minutes of playing time.

The Wildcats will return to action after Thanksgiving when they battle Northwestern State at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27, at Bramlage Coliseum.

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Hi! I'm Nathan Enserro, a graduate student from Olathe, Kansas, working on a Masters in Mass Communication. I graduated in spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in strategic communications from K-State. This is my fourth year covering K-State sports for the Collegian.